Thursday, January 12th, 2012
I find that once I start noticing a new finish or color around me, it suddenly starts appearing everywhere I look. The latest instance of this? Gold. Not 1980s brass gold that feels cheesy. No, now it has a shimmery sophistication that I’m open to for projects. To show you what I mean I’ve gathered a few pieces to highlight how this trend is popping up throughout the interior design world.
First up: Lighting
Here are three examples of chandeliers that embrace the gold trend in a modern interpretation. The one on the left would fit in well in a mid-century modern home or a transitional home with a youthful attitude. The middle one could be a nice addition of texture and playful shapes to an entry way. The pendant on the right references the traditional shades of Morocco but would be totally appropriate in a sophisticated downtown condo.
Here are a few tile samples and accessories I pulled together that highlight how metallics are popping up across multiple categories in fresh new ways.
I’m loving the large format tiles with raised honeycomb and ovals patterns on top of solids with a bit of color variation to them (hard to see in these photos). Imagine a whole bathroom wall in the honeycomb pattern with a floating white rectangular sink in front of it, stunning! The long narrow tile would be a great accent between solid large format tiles to add punch and glamour to a minimal modern space.
The small square dish is from West Elm and is currently being used as a key tray on my sideboard. I love the abstract pattern and how the gold lines aren’t solid everywhere.
The stag ring is in a bronze finish, but I still consider that part of the new metallic trend. A fun find from Target, I love the surprise looks I get whenever I wear it.
The cream crackle finish tile and small crushed glass accent tile could be combined to create a sophisticated transitional back splash without reading as gold, but coordinating well with gold accessories nearby. In fact, here is an example of the tile used in just that way on a recent project to update a standard builder kitchen in a condo and inject the home owner’s personal taste without going too flashy to turn away future buyers.
While gathering fabrics for that same project I found all of these great examples of modern textures and patterns in metallic tones that would fit right into this sophisticated urban condo. Against the deep espresso stained bamboo floors we installed, these gold accents are really going to pop. The bronze fabric on the lower left has a great tone on tone pattern that doesn’t really show up in this photo unless you study the lower left corner of the sample. Another example of a traditional pattern made modern by stripping it down to it’s basic form and doing it in one color instead of lots of colors.
Now I started gathering images for this post back in October, and in the months since others have noticed the trend too.
I spotted this gold wallcovering in the December/January issue of House Beautiful.
And in December, Elle Decor featured Gold in the Trend Alert column.
Gold’s resurgence is going to continue in upcoming seasons according to the trends spotted at High Point Furniture Market this fall and the forecasts I’ve received from trend spotting experts. So keep your eyes open and watch it start popping up more and more.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Meeting the designers I’ve been following for years is such a kick! A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to have design talent Thomas O’Brien come to town to talk about his latest book, “American Modern.”
You might recognize his name from Target, since he’s been designing bedding, towels, and home accessories for them for a few years now. Clean and modern with a traditional foundation and a muted, masculine palette is how I’d describe his collections. He was also just selected as one of Elle Decor magazine’s A-List Top 25 Interior Designers.
I actually started tracking his career many moons ago when I was a bright eyed college freshman finally getting to explore the Manhattan I’d been reading about in design magazines for years. My aunt, who worked in the city, showed me around SoHo, and we discovered Aero Studios, Thomas O’Brien’s shop and design studio. I was a goner. Back then SoHo wasn’t filled with boutiques by all the major fashion labels. It still had plenty of art galleries and little shops with quirky personalities. I think you have to go way out in Brooklyn now to recapture that vibe. Anyway, I was drooling over his mix of decorative objects on display and dreaming of the day when I could afford his stuff. Fast forward to the present and I’m still a fan of his curatorial eye.
With a chance to have Thomas autograph my copy of his latest book, I handed over my money and jumped right in line! And it’s a book I think you should consider adding to your bookshelf too. Having Thomas walk through each of the projects in the book and give the back story was fun and informative. I was especially impressed by his explanation of how his company bills for projects, as in our industry it seems to be an art form in its own right. So here are some images from each section of the book to show the range of styles he works in under the new framework of “American Modern.”
It’s arranged in sections, with each section focusing on a different house that exemplifies a different type of his version of Modern design.
Classic finishes, but the tall metal leg caps on the vanity are thoroughly modern and unexpected.
This is how his loft like space in Manhattan used to look. Spare but lots of interesting pieces mixed in a quiet palette.
I’ve had pictures of this NYC home in my inspiration images since it was first published in a magazine a few years back. I love the mix of classic midcentury pieces, soft inviting upholstered pieces, and the vertical stonework on the fireplace.
A classic American home transforms into a light, inviting modern vacation home in Thomas O’Brien’s hands. Those long tables are fabulous! The leg detail? Perfect.
How luxurious but inviting is that rug in the dining room?! The subtle color variation and texture makes me want to wander this home barefoot. And the vintage bench with a glass top desk is a juxtaposition against the dark wood of the dining room furniture.
I don’t typically like things too posh, but the finishes in this butler’s pantry are so luxe but with clean lines to keep it modern that I’m a fan. What a lovely space to sneak into during a party, check your make up in the mirrored backsplash, and perhaps sneak in a bit of snogging. (Naughty!)
This is what the Thomas O’Brien’s city house looks like now. Same space as Urban Modern, but he’s now embraced a layered, less restrained style of living. Surround yourself with all those favorite pictures on a giant pin up board. They aren’t just for the office. Group your collections into little vignettes to please your eye everytime you walk by. Homes are for living, so fill them with the things you love and let the rest go.
Which style best fits your personality? Or do you like aspects of more than one type of O’Brien modern?